'Expert' UK footy tips
English Premiership flutter (File)
Cape Town - Each round of the 2011/12 English Premiership season, a panel of Sport24 staff or guest tipsters have a crack at predicting the results - do it yourself, if you like, and see how you compare afterwards.
Compiled by Rob Houwing
(the champion for the last two seasons but a Newcastle supporter for his sins), the others are Garrin Lambley
(very Everton-partial), and David Brooke
(Manchester United).THE PRIME ATTRACTION
ARSENAL v CHELSEA
There is the ever-lucrative matter of the battle for European slots next season to think about here, what with Arsenal lying third – and pretty comfortably so at present – and Saturday’s visitors Chelsea sixth. But for the Blues, there’s the added factor of being right in the very midst of a two-leg Champions League semi-final with Barcelona. To what extent is their defence of a 1-0 lead from the home leg there going to be playing on their minds as they tackle their cross-London rivals? I reckon it’ll be very hard to avoid ... and under the circumstances the Gunners could cash in. And yes, that’s despite their own Emirates fiasco again Wigan on Monday, something for which they will be keen to atone. Remember also that they won an astonishing away league fixture 5-3 against these foes earlier in the campaign.
Rob: Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0
Last season: 3-1THE GRUDGE MATCH
NEWCASTLE v STOKE
I delightedly read this week in the UK press that Newcastle are guaranteed at least some form of Euro football next season if they beat Stoke this weekend. That’s quite an incentive! So even with partisan elements not always absent from my Toon thinking, I’ve opted for a particularly clear-cut scoreline in their favour. Mr Cisse on the scoresheet? Naturally. Stoke may also not be especially amped for this one ... they’re safe from relegation, albeit sitting in a humdrum 14th slot. This gets the grudge billing, mind you, because last season the corresponding game in the north-east didn’t go quite to plan: the Potters went “Howay” with all three points ...
Rob: Newcastle 3 Stoke 0
Last season: 1-2 THE DESPERATE DUEL
WOLVES v MANCHESTER CITY
It’s got to now or never for basement club Wolves: they are as many as eight points off safety with only four games remaining – they may even need to win every game from here even to have a chance of retaining senior status. And what odds will you get on that happening, given their consistently awful form? Still, hope springs eternal while you have a mathematical chance! But “desperation” is also a powerful characteristic for visitors City, five points shy of Manchester United at the top and with anything but victory here just not an option. Last season’s result at Molineux – 2-1 to Wolves – seems highly unlikely to occur twice on the trot, and our tips reflect that ...
Rob: Wolves 0 Manchester City 2
Last season: 2-1
ASTON VILLA v SUNDERLAND
Rob: Aston Villa 1 Sunderland 0
Last season: 0-1BLACKBURN v NORWICH
Rob: Blackburn 1 Norwich 0
Last season: Not applicable BOLTON v SWANSEA
Rob: Bolton 0 Swansea 0
Last season: Not applicable
FULHAM v WIGAN
Rob: Fulham 0 Wigan 0
Last season: 2-0
QPR v TOTTENHAM
Rob: QPR 1 Tottenham 3
Last season: Not applicable MANCHESTER UNITED v EVERTON
Rob: Manchester United 2 Everton 0
Last season: 1-0 LIVERPOOL v WEST BROM
Rob: Liverpool 1 West Brom 1
Last season: 1-0 LEADERBOARD
Our latest batch of scores look rather pitiful, don’t they? (And, er, yes, mine particularly so.) In mitigation, last week’s was only a six-game round because of FA Cup distractions, so harvests were never going to be “bumper”. So there’s really very little movement in the overall chase ... which hardly suits me, as I require a rearguard action of note, sooner rather than later!
239 Garrin (2 points in last round)
238 David (3)
226 Rob (1)